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Nielsen: Hong Kong Consumer Confidence Remained Stable In Fourth Quarter

HONG KONG, 5 February, 2016 – After a drop in the last quarter, Hong Kong consumer confidence remained stable in the fourth quarter at an index of 99, according to the Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions. The Nielsen Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) measures perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances and immediate spending intentions, surveying more than 30,000 respondents with Internet access in 61 markets.

In the latest round of the survey, conducted November 2 – 25, 2015, global consumer confidence declined two points from the previous quarter to 97. Within the region, consumer confidence in Hong Kong is higher than that in Taiwan (69) and Singapore (94), but lower than China (107). Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism, respectively.

Drivers of Consumer Confidence

Nielsen found that Hong Kong consumers are holding a cautious view about the economic outlook, as indicated by three key CCI drivers: the state of their personal finance, job prospects and spending intentions. Similar to last quarter, consumers’ optimism towards personal finance (57%), job prospects (45%), spending intention (47%) all remained unchanged, at a lower level when compared to first half of 2015.

“Hong Kong consumers are not as optimistic as they were before, for almost two-third of respondents (61%) believed the market was in recession in the fourth quarter of 2015,” said Angel Young, managing director, Nielsen Hong Kong and Macau. “Hong Kong consumers have experienced the plunge in stock market, uncertainty towards the impact from US Federal Reserve rate cycle and weakening tourism performance. Such economic phenomenon affected consumers’ sentiment as more consumers were feeling less confident about the overall economy and fewer people claimed that they will spend their spare cash on the volatile stock market.”

The good news is, when comparing to the last quarter, discretionary spending intentions among Hong Kong consumers increased. More consumers believed to spend more on buying new clothes (from 23% to 26%), and home improvements/ decorating (from 16% to 17%). Hong Kong consumers tend to spend more during Christmas and New Year Seasons. What’s more, when comparing to same quarter last year, Hong Kong consumers’ spending towards out of home entertainment (from 40% to 42%) and holidays/ vacations (from 29% to 30%) remains unchanged.

What are Consumers Concerned About?

Concerns over local economy (19%), health (11%), job security (10%) ranked the top three when it comes to consumers’ concerns.  Job security made it to top three for the first time, which could be lead indicators on the potential further reduction in their spending appetite into 2016. While the labour market held stable throughout 2015, in view of the considerable downside risks to the near-term economic outlook, especially the sustained weak trend in inbound tourism, it is difficult to establish precisely the extent to which respondents’ perception of the economy in early 2016.

ABOUT THE GLOBAL SURVEY OF CONSUMER CONFIDENCE AND SPENDING INTENTIONS

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted November 2-25, 2015 and polled more than 30,000 online consumers in 61 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East/Africa and North America. The sample includes Internet users who agreed to participate in this survey and has quotas based on age and sex for each country. It is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers by country. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. However, a probability sample of equivalent size would have a margin of error of ±0.6% at the global level. This Nielsen survey is based only on the behavior of respondents with online access. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60% Internet penetration or an online population of 10 million for survey inclusion. The China Consumer Confidence Index is compiled from a separate mixed methodology survey among 3,500 respondents in China. The sub-Saharan African countries in this study are compiled from a separate mobile methodology survey among 1,600 respondents in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was established in 2005.

ABOUT NIELSEN

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers Watch and Buy. Nielsen’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services across all devices where content—video, audio and text—is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen provides its clients with both world-class measurement as well as analytics that help improve performance.  Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries that cover more than 90 percent of the world’s population. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.